After recently watching James Cagney in the 1931 film, The Public Enemy, I was inspired to begin work on a new short story. It was one of the film’s most famous scenes and lines uttered by the actor that caught my attention. Badly shot after a shootout, Cagney as Tom Powers, comes out of a storefront carrying two guns. He staggers down a rainy dark street. Just before dying and falling to the ground, he mumbles his famous line, “I ain’t so tough.”
My story deals with a small time local hood on the run from the cops, after catching his girlfriend in bed with another guy, and shooting them both. At this point in time those famous last words are the title of my story, but that could change as the tales evolves. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
Below is the famous scene from The Public Enemy.